Results tagged “Heavy Hittin”

Review: Aeon - Aeons Black

Uncompromising death metal.
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Blistering and desolate, Aeons Black is icy Swedish death metal at its most adamant. The fourth full-length recording by Aeon, the follow-up to Path of Fire comes with more of the blasphemy and hatred fans have come to expect from this quintet. The band formed in 1999, coming out of the ashes of a group called Defaced Creation. Vocalist Tommy Dahlström, guitarist Zeb Nilsson and drummer Arttu Malkki were the early members, while some line-up changes eventually led to the arrival of guitarist Daniel Dlimi and bassist Marcus Edvardsson. As technically proficient as these cats are, the most striking element

Review: AxeWound - Vultures

A supergroup's one-off proves an entertaining listen.
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Featuring members of Bullet for My Valentine and Cancer Bats members, one could argue that AxeWound is a bit of a supergroup. Unveiled in May of 2012 and featuring Matt Tuck (guitars, vocals), Liam Cormier (vocals), Mike Kingswood (guitar), Joe Copcutt (bass), and Jason Bowld (drums), there’s little doubting the fact that this group hits hard. Their debut, Vultures, is a riff-infused salvo of super heavyweight stuff. It’s a fun listen, one that seems to come in the spirit of AxeWound influences like Slipknot and Pantera. The songs are striking, capable of digging holes in heads after just one listen.

Review: As I Lay Dying - Awakened

Kicking off a second decade with more of the same. Seems about right.
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With their sixth studio album, San Diego’s As I Lay Dying elbows into their second decade with another chugging, pit-ready selection of metalcore. Awakened is less a step forward than more of the same, a tweak of the band’s attack more than an evolutionary course. "There's nothing totally out of left-field, we just refined our songwriting and incorporated some ideas that bring a real freshness to the record," guitarist Phil Sgrosso says. "We wanted something that was a lot bigger and more open sounding, and that's exactly what we achieved." Featuring Sgrosso, vocalist Tim Lambesis, guitarist Nick Hipa, bassist/vocalist Josh

Review: Sylencer - A Lethal Dose of Truth

A gargantuan thrash metal project.
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Sylencer’s A Lethal Dose of Truth may feature a crateful of guest performances from metal monarchs, but the colossal meat-and-potatoes thrash springing from Markus Johansson’s project is still very much the Chicago-based musician’s baby. Featuring Johansson, Johnny Rox and Kevin Talley, Sylencer should be set for a significant career. While there are a lot of thrash metal acts and retro groups cooking at the moment, few manifest the energy and technical proficiency as confidently as these dudes. Playing through a round of 16 songs like a boyish Metallica still sowing their wild oats, Sylencer is an exhilarating and lively thrash

Review: Legacy of Disorder - Last Man Standing

A robust but generic melodic thrash album.
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Taking more than a few pages from the books on thrash metal written by heavyweights like Pantera and Biohazard, New Zealand’s Legacy of Disorder materializes with the robust Last Man Standing. The Pantera comparisons gain more ground when one realizes that Sterling Winfield serves as producer. He produced Pantera’s Reinventing the Steel as well as Damageplan’s 2004 debut New Found Power. With Legacy of Disorder, the results are similarly hostile. That’s not to say that Last Man Standing is on par with the aforementioned or even deserves to stand in the same bloodied field, of course. Despite bursting at the

Review: The Foreshadowing - Second World

A bold statement and a step in the right direction.
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With Oionos, Italy’s The Foreshadowing delivered a well-rendered but repetitive portrait of doom. The follow-up, Second World, is a broader, richer recording that tells a better story and conveys a better experience overall. Between Oionos and Second World, The Foreshadowing remained largely the same with the exception of the departure of bassist Davide Pesola and the arrival of his replacement Francesco Giulianelli. Vocalist Marco Benevento, guitarists Alessandro Pace and Andrea Chiodetti, keyboardist Francesco Sosto, and drummer Jonah Padella still commit fully to the shadows and gloom. If Oionos is an omen, Second World is the transition from one desolate universe

Review: The Foreshadowing - Oionos

Looking at The Foreshadowing's 2010 release before we enter a Second World.
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The Foreshadowing’s Oionos was originally released in April of 2010, landing the Italian doom metal outfit in a storm of critical praise. Thanks to Metal Blade Records, the album is seeing issue in North America (again?) and surfaces just as Second World (review forthcoming) takes to the air. The Foreshadowing originated in 2005, with guitarist Alessandro Pace, guitarist Andrea Chiodett, keyboardist Francesco Sosto, drummer Jonah Padella, bassist Davide Pesola, and vocalist Marco Benevento entering the fold. Their first record was 2006’s Days of Nothing, the opening volley in what would become an apocalyptic revelation coursing through consequent releases. Oionos is the

Review: King of Asgard - North

Viking metal to roast a goat to.
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There are days when I’ve been out in the backyard roasting a whole goat over an open fire with my blade sleeping against a neighbouring boulder and, as flames lick the enchanting meat, I wonder why there isn’t any decent music to play in these situations. This happens more than you might think. Enter King of Asgard and their …of North record. The band formed in 2008 by guitarist and vocalist Karl Breckman, with drummer Karsten Larsson serving as the first addition. With a thirst for Norse mythology and bassist Jonas Albrektsson in the flock, the band took to recording

Review: Dublin Death Patrol - Death Sentence

The volume is right and the speed is just breakneck enough to work.
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There are a few things you should know about Dublin Death Patrol. First, they aren’t from Ireland. They hail from Dublin, California. Second, there are 11 members of the band. It started as a meek seven-piece, but the recording process of their debut album DDP 4 Life saw the addition of another three. After the release, they added another and brought the total to 11. Death Sentence, their second album, continues the boisterous thrash in meat-and-potatoes mode. Make no mistake about it, the band’s pedigree runs deep. Commenced in 2006 by thrash royalty, including Testament’s Chuck Billy (vocals) and former

Darkness By Oath Is Repulsively Ordinary On Latest 'Near Death Experience'

Dazzlingly ordinary melodic death metal.
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Released in Europe in March of 2012, Darkness By Oath’s Near Death Experience is finally seeing its official North American release thanks to the good folks at Metal Blade Records. The melodic death metal effort from the Spanish band is dazzlingly ordinary stuff, though, and there’s not much to it beyond the customary genre conventions. The musicians are gifted, but the material is uninspiring. There’s no sense of menace or blackness, despite Aritz Nabarro’s snarls and the twin guitar spasm of Tristan Iñiguez and Alain Castaño. Darkness By Oath came into being in 2002. Influenced by Swedish death metal, the

Review: Witchsorrow - God Curse Us

A sloooooooow, doom-filled ride that goes nowhere in particular.
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To enter the world of Witchsorrow is to enter the tiresome depths of doom and despair without a lantern. The shadowy triad has amassed an assortment of slow-moving, down-tuned hopelessness all over their God Curse Us, a bleak record if there ever was one. This is the follow-up to the band’s 2010 self-titled debut and it pitilessly continues their mission to carry on the darkness set in motion by Black Sabbath in the 1970s. The Black Death brought about by Witchsorrow carries a lot of resemblance to what Ozzy and the gang were up to way back when. Fans of

Review: Rob Zombie Gets Remixed on 'Mondo Sex Head'

Exploiting the groove in Rob Zombie's music including remixes from Korn's Jonathan Davis, Deftones' Chino Moreno...
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Musician, filmmaker, and theme park designer Rob Zombie is no stranger to the remix. 1996’s Supersexy Swingin Sounds featured remixes of songs by his White Zombie group, while 1999’s American Made Music to Strip By packed in remixes of tracks from Zombie’s Hellbilly Deluxe record. Now, Mondo Sex Head becomes the third album to feature remixes of Zombie hits and its job is to capitalize on the inherent groove found within his music. “I always thought my stuff had a groove to it,” he says. “We’re not a rigid, straight-ahead metal band. That’s woven into what we’ve always done anyway.

Review: Miss May I - At Heart

File under unoriginal but meaningful.
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Ohioan metal act Miss May I takes things personally with the aptly-titled At Heart. The band came out of Troy, Ohio, four years ago and debuted in 2009 with Apologies Are For The Weak. 2010’s Monument followed and this year’s At Heart builds on the legacy for a very energetic, very honest group. Miss May I is comprised of vocalist Levi Benton, guitarists B.J. Stead and Justin Aufdemkampe, bassist and vocalist Ryan Neff, and drummer Jerod Boyd. At Heart was produced by Machine (Lamb of God, Every Time I Die) in New Jersey. In this instance, the presence of the

Review: Whitechapel - Whitechapel

Whitechapel's fourth is the culmination of the journey so far.
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Whitechapel’s fourth studio album is the culmination of the Tennessee deathcore band’s journey so far, so it stands to reason that it would be released eponymously. "These songs are some of the best material we have released to date, and the whole vibe of the record compelled us to self-title it," says guitarist Alex Wade. "With every record we strive for something different – we're always going to stay true to what Whitechapel is, but we want to evolve and do something that is fresh and engaging both for ourselves and for the people who support us." Wade, along with

Review: Six Feet Under - Undead

A gruelling record faithful to death metal basics.
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Begun as a side project when vocalist Chris Barnes was fronting Cannibal Corpse, Six Feet Under has blossomed into a death metal headliner since it first formed in 1993. Undead is the ninth album in what has become a storied career. The band has remained faithful to the death metal basics, as gruelling as that can get at times, and the new record is more of the same destruction and despair. Along with Barnes, Six Feet Under features Rob Arnold (guitars), Steve Swanson (guitars), Jeff Hughell (bassist), and Kevin Talley (drums). Arnold is the newest member of the band and

Review: John 5 - God Told Me To

John 5's sixth solo effort showcases his diversity and depth.
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John 5 may be best known for his tenures as guitarists for David Lee Roth, Marilyn Manson and currently Rob Zombie, but he’s also quite the prolific solo artist. In fact, God Told Me To is the Michigan-born musician’s sixth solo release. The record proves John 5 as a diverse, slick player with a strong emotional centre. He plays in service of the song and isn’t overly showy, which is a refreshing change for many noodling, flamboyant rock-oriented players. He is also an impressive songwriter, having penned music for soundtracks as well as his releases. The “trouble” with the record

Review: Exumer - Fire & Damnation

A return to thrash after 25 years yields rigid results.
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Returning with their first studio album in 25 years, Exumer blows through roughly 33 minutes of German thrash metal on Fire & Damnation. As the follow-up to 1987’s Rising from the Sea, Exumer’s latest is an overly rigid measure of vintage thrash. The band formed in 1985, with Mem V. Stein (vocals) and Ray Mensh (guitar) forging the flames. Exumer fleshed out with T. Schiavo (bass), H.K. (guitar) and Matthias Kassner (drums) and captured popularity in markets as diverse as Brazil and Poland. Their first record, Possessed By Fire, made its debut in 1986 and the band pushed out to

Review: West of Hell - Spiral Empire

A killer metal act that would benefit from a more succinct attack.
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Based in Vancouver by way of West Auckland, West of Hell hammers down influences from Iron Maiden to Judas Priest on their Spiral Empire. The band’s debut is a rock-solid compendium of 80s metal clichés mixed with just a touch of West Coast flavour. It is a devilishly fun piece of work, as a result, cementing these cats as a band to watch for years to come. West of Hell originated as an instrumental band in New Zealand. Bassist Jordan Kemp, drummer Andrew Hulme and guitarists Sean Parkinson and Ivan Vrdoljak drew critical acclaim and local notice after relocating to

Review: Allegaeon - Formshifter

A metal act blessed with an intelligent sense of melody.
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Based out of Fort Collins, Colorado, Allegaeon is a metal act blessed with an intelligent sense of melody. The band still brings its death metal chops to the table, but behind the wall of growls and scowls is a divine musical foundation that comes largely because of guitarist Greg Burgess’ classical background. Burgess, along with guitarist Ryan Glisan, forms the core of Allegaeon and makes up the best parts of Formshifter. Vocalist Ezra Haynes is a presence worth paying attention to and bassist Corey Archuleta holds it down, but this record is mostly about the guitars. The band currently finds

Review: Cattle Decapitation - Monolith of Inhumanity

So this is deathgrind...
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With a name like Cattle Decapitation, you have to know you’re probably not getting smooth jazz. Monolith of Inhumanity is the San Diego “deathgrind” outfit’s seventh full length release and it is a blistering, grisly blast of metal malice. Relentless in its brutality and caustic in its lack of respect for humanity, this record is not for the queasy. Songs are punctuated by gruesome sound effects and jacked up by “vocalist” Travis Ryan’s flexible cache of barks, yelps, shouts, rumbles, and hellacious noises. The band certainly boasts a technical prowess to go with the evil presence it unleashes through the